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Which Award-Winning Airplane Concept of the Future Do You Like Best?

April 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM | by | ()

The annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a competition that strives for excellence in futuristic aircraft interior innovation and design, took place this week in Hamburg, Germany. There were seven categories in total: Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment; Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts; Material & Components; Passenger Comfort Hardware; Passenger Comfort Systems; Premium Class & VIP; and University.

The full list of winners is still trickling out, but we're zoning in on the concepts that are aimed at directly benefiting the future passenger - aka, us. Below, we take a look at a few of the winning ideas. None are guaranteed to appear in the consumer realm anytime soon, but they serve as reasonable prototypes for what we might see down the road. Which are you most excited about?

Full Seatback Projections for Passenger Entertainment

Not only would most of the seatback become a projection screen, it would also show information relating to the land area under the aircraft in "real time," including details on the culture, history, and natural environment. Don't read too much into the use of the word "projection," as it would be touch-screen and interactive.

Larger Windows for Better Sightseeing

A German glass manufacturer was honored for its lightweight glass composites that would allow for larger airplane windows. The idea of larger windows would go well with the "real-time" projections proposed above, allowing better sight lines to go along with information on what's below the aircraft.

Sleek Seats for Increased Passenger Comfort

It's hard to advocate for these seats without actually sitting in them, but thinner seats seem like an obvious solution to the spacing problem aboard airplanes. We think anyone over six-feet tall will greatly appreciate the extra few inches between seats.

'Moveable Seats' for Cabin Rearrangement

We'd be much more excited about this idea if it was meant to increase in-flight social interaction, but the ability to convert seats between business class and economy will definitely provide a little flexibility in filling out an aircraft. If business class on a particular route doesn't usually fill up, the seats can be sold as economy, or vice versa. Personally, we'd prefer to see airlines upgrade someone instead of making a business class seat into an economy seat. That said, people will benefit during the booking process as airlines will be able to open up more seats in either class based on demand.

[Photos: Future Travel Experience]

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